Rolling Stones: wisdom on the radio

I hear these lines being sung “You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes you just might find …you get what ya need”  Amen.  Truer words never spoken.

 

So much of alcoholism is selfish desires and finding ways to fulfill a need, an addiction.  Even sober I act selfishly most days.  Petulant and pouty when things don’t go my way or god forbid I don’t get what I want.  But the thing I realize in recovery, I don’t know what’s best for me.  So the thing I think I WANT is not what I NEED.  Recovery is a lifetime experience and I’m just getting started.  I haven’t learned how to manage my infantile urges, my tantrums, all behaviors of a person whose emotional growth was arrested by alcoholism at age 19.  I’m not nearly as smart or important as my mind would like me to believe.  The way to a spiritual awakening is via the surrender of self.  My mind is strong at keeping Self in the picture much longer than she needs to be, attention -whore that she is.  Self must bow out gracefully.

Grace is the answer.  When I bravely do the things Self fights hard for me to avoid or complicate or make excuses for (like go to work on time, go to meetings, call someone, say yes to requests of my fellows, play with my children, do the dishes)..it may seem silly to you …these things you say “are so easy, any adult knows how to do these things ) but I don’t .  At least, it still requires perseverance and fortitude and fatih for me to do the most normal, mundane tasks of living.  I get what I need every day.  And I am grateful in a way only someone in recovery from alcoholism or addiction could understand.  My wants are really no help to me.  My wants do not serve me.  They are merely obstacles to a greater understanding of my life, my relationships with others and most importantly, my relationship with a power greater than myself, my God.   Wanting something badly blocks the view of what I need desperately.  Buddha knew the path to end suffering was to end desire.  Human nature can be silenced in prayer and meditation.  In surrendering our wants, to make a place, a space, for what it is we need.

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